House Passes Bipartisan Fixes for Paycheck Protection Program, Including Provisions Supported by Golden
WASHINGTON — Following Congressman Jared Golden’s (ME-02) efforts over the past two months to improve the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses that had struggled with the relief program, the House passed the bipartisan PPP Flexibility Act yesterday.
The legislation, which includes changes advocated for by Golden, would help fix some concerns raised by Maine small businesses about the program, including raising the percentage of funding businesses can use to avoid default on mortgages, rent, and utilities from 25 percent to 40 percent, expanding eligibility for the use of funds from 8 to 24 weeks, and extending loan terms to a minimum of five years. In April and May, Golden proposed those changes and others after hearing from and working with small businesses in the Second District.
“I’ve been working with Maine small businesses for months, to learn what they need to weather COVID-19 closures. After many businesses began telling me that the PPP wasn’t the right fit I began working to bring changes to improve the program,” said Golden. “The changes in the bill we passed today will make the program more useful for a larger number of small businesses and their employees in our state. But there are still many businesses and workers that have been left behind by this program, including many small businesses who played by the original guidelines of the PPP and are still facing serious challenges. I'll continue to fight for more relief for Maine businesses in the months ahead as they work toward economic recovery.”
Golden has gone to bat for small businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, he held a virtual forum in the House Small Business Subcommittee he chairs in part to push for more resources for Small Business Development Centers across the country. Since March, the congressman has held ten tele-town halls and listening sessions focused on protecting Maine small businesses, with guests like Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors, the Maine Small Business Administration’s (SBA) District Director Amy Barrett, and Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) Director Mark Delisle. Golden also released a Small Business Resource Guide to assist small business owners with navigating federal small business relief programs and formed a Small Business Response Team to work with businesses one-on-one during the coronavirus. The team has assisted more than 600 small businesses since it was formed by the congressman in April.
The congressman also worked with the Maine delegation to support Maine Governor Janet Mills’ request for $2 million in aid for state small businesses, and has introduced legislation to protect rural Maine’s smaller hospitals as part of the PPP.